An Evening with Ned Blackhawk - Oklahoma Center for the Humanities
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An Evening with Ned Blackhawk

Join us April 1 at 5 p.m. at 101 Archer!
Register here.

Join the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities for an evening with National Book Award Winner Ned Blackhawk, author of The Rediscovery of America: Native People and the Unmaking of U.S. History.

The Rediscovery of America tells American history through the lives and cultures of its Indigenous people. The most enduring feature of U.S. history is the presence of Native Americans, yet most histories focus on Europeans and their descendants. This long practice of ignoring Indigenous history is changing, however, as a new generation of scholars insists that any full American history address the struggle, survival, and resurgence of American Indian nations.

Blackhawk shows how Indigenous history is essential to understanding the evolution of modern America. He interweaves five centuries of Native and non‑Native histories, from Spanish colonial exploration to the rise of Native American self-determination in the late twentieth century. In this transformative synthesis he shows that 1) European colonization in the 1600s was never a predetermined success; 2) Native nations helped shape England’s crisis of empire; 3) the first shots of the American Revolution were prompted by Indian affairs in the interior; 4) California Indians targeted by federally funded militias were among the first casualties of the Civil War; 5) the Union victory forever recalibrated Native communities across the West; and 6) twentieth-century reservation activists refashioned American law and policy. Blackhawk’s retelling of U.S. history acknowledges the enduring power, agency, and survival of Indigenous peoples, yielding a truer account of the United States and revealing anew the varied meanings of America.

OCH will host a reception and book signing at 5 p.m., followed by Blackhawk’s lecture at 6 p.m. Magic City Books will be onsite selling copies of The Rediscovery of America.

Blackhawk (Western Shoshone) is a Professor of History and American Studies at Yale and was on the faculty from 1999 to 2009 at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. A graduate of McGill University, he holds graduate degrees in History from UCLA and the University of Washington and is the author of Violence over the Land: Indians and Empires in the early American West (Harvard, 2006), a study of the American Great Basin that garnered half a dozen professional prizes, including the Frederick Jackson Turner Prize from the Organization of American Historians.

In addition to serving in professional associations and on the editorial boards of American Quarterly and Ethnohistory, Professor Blackhawk has led the establishment of two fellowships, one for American Indian Students to attend the Western History Association’s annual conference, the other for doctoral students working on American Indian Studies dissertations at Yale named after Henry Roe Cloud (Winnebago, Class of 1910).

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